• IEC considers piloting e-voting in SA

    Date:8 July 2020 Author: Leila Stein

    South Africa’s Electoral Commission said in a presentation to a parliamentary committee that it is considering a pilot project for e-voting in the country.

    According to BusinessTech, chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said that this idea was still in the early stages of consideration and would be trialed before rolling out.

    “In order to increase efficiencies in the electoral process and to ameliorate intractable challenges especially in the counting and capturing of results, the commission has proposed an e-voting pilot project.

    “The foremost consideration in the use of technology is to drive down the costs of elections and increase operational efficiencies,” he said.

    The extent to which the process will be changed was not explained. So, it is unclear whether this means the pilot would include a full online voting system or just relate to electronic counting.

    Other countries have implemented electronic voting with varying levels of success. Security concerns, confusing results and voter education on the new technology have all been contributing factors to countries deciding to implement or drop the electronic system.

    The US has electronic voting machines for most of its elections. These have resulted in sometimes confusing and hotly debated election results and mishaps. Ireland stopped using its electronic voting machines in 2006, citing security concerns.

    Image: Unsplash


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